Tag Archives: review

Shows This Weekend (May 9 – 14)

Your mom made you, birthed you and raised you. Now say thank you by spending the whole weekend out with your friends! There are tons of shows this weekend, including Roaming Storms, Bad Habits Die Hard, Throne of Vengeance, Million Dollar Fix, DangerFloyd, Chron Goblin, Boy&Gurl and BILLAPULOOZA! With all this happening, it’s no surprise that “MOM” upside down is “WOW”!

Thursday:

Three Days Of DissentThree Days of Dissent starts tonight at Dickens Pub (1000 – 9th Ave SW)! Presented by Calgary Beer Core and the Interfaith Food Bank, tonight’s line-up features Torches to Triggers, Cadavor Dog, Truck, Oh Shit, Doberman, Victimize and Paint the Damage! You don’t wanna miss this one!
More info: Three Days of Dissent – Thursday!

Friday:

Three Days Of DissentDay two of Three Days of Dissent! Tonight is the fantastic Throne of Vengeance, Bloated Pig, Class Action, Million Dollar Fix and Shotgun Dolls!
More info: Three Days of Dissent – Friday!

Prohab Helmet Society Fundraiser! Featuring Napalmpom, The Great Evil, Roaming StormsIt’s the Prohab Helmet Society Fundraiser at Broken City (613 – 11th Ave SW)! Raise money to protect your noggin while enjoying some awesome bands, including Napalmpom, The Great Evil and Roaming Storms!
More info: Prohab Helmet Society Fundraiser! Featuring Napalmpom, The Great Evil, Roaming Storms

Acres of Lions, Bad Habits Die Hard, Deepest OceanWicked night at The Palomino (109 – 7th Ave SW) with Acres of Lions, Bad Habits Die Hard and Deepest Ocean!
More info: Acres of Lions, Bad Habits Die Hard, Deepest Ocean

Saturday:

BILLAPULOOZAThe night we’ve all been waiting for: BILLAPULOOZA! Come down to The Blind Beggar (5211 MacLeod Trail SW) and celebrate Big Bill’s birthday, support the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank and enjoy a motherload of music with MUDD, Puttin’ on the Foil, Thrill of Falling, Countdown Arrest, Atacama Republic, Big Big Moose, 3 Head Cobra, Raise Your Weapon, Bloom, Kingdom of Few and the one and only Danny Nix! Help out and ROCK OUT!
More info: BILLAPULOOZA

3 Days Of Dissent May 11thDay three of Three Days of Dissent at Dickens Pub (1000 – 9th Ave SW)! Tonight is Stab.Twist.Pull, Chron Goblin, Kyoktys, His Last Words and more!
More info: Three Days of Dissent – Saturday!

 DangerFloyd @ May MeltCheck out DangerFloyd at May Melt! It’s a great day at the Sunalta Community Centre (1627 – 10th Ave SW) with live music, stand-up comedy, a lumberjack exhibition and lots more! The evening show also features Bitter Weed Draw, Dead Pretty, Mammoth Grove, All Hands on Jane, Robot Workers and more!
More info: Dangerfloyd @ May Melt

Tuesday:

Boy&Gurl live at 4th Spot supporting the Tom Baker Cancer Conquerors for the Ride to Conquer CancerBoy&Gurl is playing an acoustic night of music at 4th Spot Kitchen & Bar (2620 – 4th St. SW)! Great music, awesome food, raffles and prizes, and they’re raising funds for the Tom Baker Cancer Conquerors team for the Ride to Conquer Cancer!
More info: Boy&Gurl live at 4th Spot supporting the Tom Baker Cancer Conquerors for the Ride to Conquer Cancer!

Little Birdie – Show Review

When Orit Shimoni, the face of Little Birdie, first grazed the stage at Inglewood’s Ironwood family day evening, she shared stories of adventure and laughter with jokes which ranged from her childhood to missionaries. There was an immediate atmosphere of comfort, as if she and the crowd were simply old friends sharing on a cold prairie evening. A small, intimate crowd gathered for the witty humor and acoustic ballads of Little Birdie. She kicked off the night with some light-hearted, warm tunes for some easy listening, though as the night progressed the depth and complexity of her music escalated. A few of her ballads included: “let’s get persecuted”, “sadder music”, and “farmer’s daughter”. The amusing highlight of the evening was “happy song” which sailed the crowd into an imaginative world of aliens and ships. The lyrics of the music she sung were fascinatingly relatable. The audience had a taste of a near-Johnny Cash experience. A friend of Shimoni’s once accurately described her music as; existential blue grass, a perfect fit. Since the rest of her band were unable to join this tour, it turned out to be a solo gig. Regardless she fostered an environment of warmth, ease and swaying melodies all on her own, like any talented musician would. Her tales of her Berlin and via rail adventures were reflected in her chosen songs of the evening. Her deep, melodic voice and finger-picking drew the crowd in nearly instantly and kept them there until the very end. She not only mastered the art of storytelling that evening though also sublime entertainment, which left the crowd left to only wait for another visit from the memorable Little Birdie.

The Electric Revival – “Presenting: The Electric Revival”

Some might say that growing old is a curse but when it comes to loving music getting older can also mean having the privilege of seeing a music genre birthed and then evolve. It also means that younger people and musicians who enjoy a particular genre of music, like metal, will likely delve into its past to discover not only the main influencers but also the innovators, the ground breakers. When that happens it’s almost expected that a group of young musicians will latch onto a sound that harkens from an earlier time, re-imagine it and release their own interpretation. A current example of this is Saskatoon’s Sheepdogs who have brought the world a new version of pre-plane crash-era Lynryd Skynryd.  I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of that band because I was actually partying on the planet the night that the plane went down and the news was broken on Toronto’s Q107. For my tastes a band that wants to get my attention doing a new version of an old thing has to do so in a way that is captivating — being derivative isn’t good enough.

Having said all that and with apologies for the long intro, I have to admit that I was tempted to place The Electric Revival’s Presenting: The Electric Revival in the category of cool-sounding albums that are good for a trip down memory lane but have little staying power in terms of crafting something memorable. As one might expect from the band’s moniker there is something here that is being revived – the question is, what?

The tone of the album is set during the opening track, “Rock n Roll Breakdown.” The tune is a furiously paced two-minute rocket ride that evokes the proto-punk attitude birthed by the legendary Iggy Pop in the Stooges seminal 1973 release “Raw Power.” That isn’t to say that the songs are sloppily played or poorly recorded – it’s really quite remarkable that the band’s performance and production manages to capture the retro vibe in a digital age where so many recordings sound sterile and flat.

The rest of the album shows great pacing with good balance between heavier/faster/louder songs in the vein of the opener and slower more moody pieces like the second track, “Black Widow.”  Three tracks on the “2nd side” of the album (see, I’m old) pay homage to the blues – an admirable aspiration in any R&R revival. “Outlaw Blues” is a hard and dirty blues rocker that serves as a reminder that metal was birthed from playing the blues too fast and too loud, a prescription that worked out well for Zeppelin and Sabbath back in the day.  On the subsequent track, “Goodbye 1979″ things stay bluesy but the vibe mellows considerably.

Overall Presenting: The Electric Revival scores a solid four out of five (4/5) with the only criticism being this:  pretty much all of the vocals are processed with what sounds like a combination of chorus and reverb and this is put to good use in creating that late 60’s, early 70’s retro vibe. However, I think that I would appreciate the album more if a couple of tracks out of the twelve featured a less processed approach on vocals, but that’s just me. Head over to iTunes right now and buy this excellent release.

The Electric Revival - Presenting: The Electric Revival

Flowshine – “Mountain Queen”

There’s a lot to be said for first impressions. They tell us everything: good or bad, our instincts are the first feeling toward love or hate. In listening to a new album, we often know right away whether it’s worth a few more listens or better off serving as background music at a slaughterhouse. In the case of Mountain Queen, the new album from Calgary’s Flowshine, our instincts are definitely right: this is a fantastic release, worth a few listens, a first pump and a membership to their fan club.

Flowshine seems to have come out of nowhere. They’ve been around for a couple years, but now they’re impossible to overlook, with good press, a presence on every website and a lot of excitement buzzing around their upcoming shows. Once you hear Flowshine’s music you realize the reason for the attention they’re getting: simply put, they’re really good. They’re a band the whole family will love — if your family’s cool, anyway.

Part of the album’s likeability is its diversity. Each of the six songs is a little bit different, almost to the point that they sound like different bands altogether. They don’t have the “signature sound” you might hear with other bands, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: some bands get so caught up in their “sound” or their image they become boring and predictable. Flowshine does not have that. They show huge variety in their music, from blues-rock to psychedelic funk-rock to more happy pop. Everything does have a slightly old-school feel, so if they have one quality to call their own, “retro” is probably it.

Because of their diversity, it’s hard to name just one band Flowshine sounds like. “The Coast” brings out the heavier blues-rock, sounding almost like Cream, Zeppelin or the more modern Queens of the Stone Age. “Red Thread” and “Good People”, though, are more poppy; they’d be great to dance to. You might think of The Killers or Weezer, bands with definite radio appeal and huge fan followings. “Something to Go On” is a funkier version of The Killers, with wicked bass lines carrying the music forward. The bass stands out quite a bit, actually: it really complements the guitars and drums throughout, putting together completely solid arrangements of music and showing off some very talented song-writing.

The more you listen to this album, the better it gets. It’s hard to name a favourite track, probably due in part to their diversity. Listen to this album lots. It’s easy to do so, especially with how quickly the six tracks fly by. For a taste of the music, check out their tunes on Soundcloud, and then go like them on Facebook and visit all the other online houses listed on their main website.

And if you’re in Calgary, check them out at Dickens Pub Thursday, January 31 — the show’s going to be huge and you’ll definitely regret missing it. The first impression of Flowshine’s Mountain Queen is a good one, and it’ll keep getting better.

Flowshine - Mountain Queen

Jennah Barry – “Young Men”

Nova Scotia’s Jennah Barry has released her newest album Young Men, which will attract listeners with a minimal yet complex approach. Barry, the daughter of a choir director, has surpassed her father and transformed herself into a successful singer, songwriter, and talented musician. Her move from small town Clearland (Nova Scotia) to Toronto in the pursuits to study jazz music motivated growth in her music, resulting in longing, homesickness, heartbreak, and vulnerability.

The cover art as you can see is an elaborate drawing of her submerged in a dreamy, cerulean sea, reflecting the mood of the album quite well. She builds up wonder, blueness, and the submersion of many emotions for you to glide through. With humble beginnings, the soft acoustic melodies undergo a transformation through her rich, smooth vocals, which provoke a journey of many sensations. Her work can be seen as simplistic yet full. With prominently acoustic ballads, her slow melodic build ups create an atmosphere of winter but her sound will soar over the dark and bare parts in triumph.

Barry’s lyrics hold an interesting combination of not only having the warmth and comforting swirling tone of her voice, but lyrically Barry also confronts many deeper human issues. This stark contrast predominantly is found in many of her songs including “The Coast”, “Black Hole”, and of course “Young Men”. These songs delve into a variety of states such as nostalgia and reflection, sensations of loss and nothingness. The powerful imagery of ice and snow used in the song “Young Men” acts as a social commentary on the destructive nature of adolescent men, and how it creates feelings of helplessness. Jennah Barry’s Young Men will take you through a journey of home, contemplation, and ease, all in one. Although the album is an untainted and fresh perspective, she as a younger artist shows that she will only escalate and improve from here on. It will draw you in and take you back to a place you thought you forgot; an album definitely worth a copious amount of listening to.

Check her out on Facebook and buy the album through Bandcamp!

Jennah Barry - Young Men